Letter: Why take away postal positions?

I would like to express my concern over the recent story about the new postal outlet, writes CUPW President Jessica McDonald.

As a postal employee and president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) Grand Forks Local 746, I would like to express my concern over the recent story about the new postal outlet inside of Pharmasave.

The Grand Forks local was very disappointed that we were not contacted by the Gazette for comment on this particular story, as our view-point on the “enhanced service” is quite different.

The intent of the private retail post office is to downsize the unionized corporate post offices all across Canada, which, according to Canada Post, will “enhance” the postal service.

If this were truly their goal, one wonders why they would not simply hire back the positions they have deleted from the Grand Forks post office and expand services there. Instead they are sending them a block away to a private, lower paid, non-union store.

Since the mid-1990s, Canada Post has been profitable every single year, except in 2011 when the company locked out 50,000 of its workers in an effort to weaken the union and its contract. In that time, Canada Post has fed over a billion dollars into the public purse. Canada Post has also indicated that 2014 may have been its most profitable year ever.

So why continue the erosion of well-paying jobs here in a small community? Why take away positions that allow people to afford to buy houses, pay taxes and make our town financially stronger?

As I’ve pointed out, Canada Post remains extremely viable financially so there is no reason to eliminate these jobs just so a private retailer can enjoy more “foot traffic.”

Canada Post is a public service, owned by all Canadians. It should serve Canadians as an affordable and effective communications and delivery system, not as a cash cow for private interests at the expense of the public.

We ask everyone to support our local Canada Post outlet and help us fight for better service and better-paying jobs that will benefit our community.

Jessica McDonald,

CUPW President, Local 746